Our Mission

To provide effective, science-based intervention for children and adults with autism and, through research and dissemination, to extend treatment resources to people with autism, both nationally and internationally.

PCDI: Pioneering Autism Intervention and Research for over 45 years

PCDI, founded in 1970, is a private, non-profit program offering a broad spectrum of science-based services to children, youths, and adults with autism. The Institute not only provides quality treatment, education, and professional training and mentoring in New Jersey, but through its research, has pioneered comprehensive intervention models that are used nationally and internationally for the benefit of persons with autism. These programs teach young children to talk, play with siblings and friends, and read and write. Adolescents continue academic and work-study programs while learning to participate in their homes and communities. Adults perfect skills that allow them to maintain jobs and achieve greater levels of independence. 


PCDI is recognized worldwide as a leader in autism research and treatment. The Institute offers a broad spectrum of services that support people with autism from infancy through adulthood. PCDI provides an Early Intervention Program for children age 28 months and younger and an educational program for students age 3 to 21. Adults with autism receive support and training for competitive employment in PCDI’s Adult Life-Skills Program. The Institute also operates two family-style group homes and a supervised apartment program. All its programs include home programming and family support.

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"The impact PCDI has had on my family’s quality of life is immeasurable. Their interventions are research-based, systematic, individualized and were always based upon my son’s specific needs and goals. Collaboration between our family and the PCDI staff in school, at home and in the community was an integral part of his success. As parents, we learned how to effectively apply ABA practices in varied settings. Initially, we applied to PCDI to help our son reach his learning and social potential but what we didn’t realize was that it would change the trajectory of our entire family unit as we moved forward. In addition, PCDI assisted with a seamless transition to a less restrictive learning environment. PCDI is committed to excellence and we are forever grateful for our time spent learning under their expertise."

Christy Stier, parent of a former PCDI student

"Our two young boys have benefited from the outstanding autism intervention services provided by the Princeton Child Development Institute (PCDI). For the past six years, our children have had the opportunity to thrive thanks to PCDI’s excellence and commitment to providing the best autism intervention possible. They have empowered us to be active participants and advocates in our children’s learning through their parental training, closing the loop between school and home. This holistic approach has enabled us to continue to provide a level of intervention even now after our children have been fully mainstreamed. We are eternally grateful and proud to be part of the PCDI community."

RS & SS, parents of former PCDI students

"PCDI has been changing the lives of children, adolescents, and adults with autism and their families for more than 40 years. Their commitment to excellence is astounding! PCDI is the gold standard of delivering effective intervention based upon the science of Applied Behavior Analysis. The outcomes that PCDI continues to produce year after year is proof that those who are affected by autism could still learn to lead happy, independent, and productive lives. PCDI is a model program for autism intervention."

Eric Rozenblat, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Director, Institute for Educational Achievement

"We have yet to find a group of professionals whose commitment and selflessness to the betterment of their cause equals that of PCDI's professionals. Whatever, wherever, and however long it takes to achieve a goal, PCDI staff will commit themselves to a student's success. If that means being at a student's home at night to help with bedtime activities, accompanying them to the library to monitor their interactions with peers, or assisting with transition to another school---to name just a few activities---PCDI is a family's trusted partner for life. Years after our child's transition to general education, we still check in with PCDI for behavioral tips and value their individualized advice."

Tim W., parent of a former PCDI student

"The Pennington Presbyterian Nursery School (PPNS) staff and I have had the privilege of partnering with PCDI over the past 10 years as PCDI students begin to transition into typical school experiences. We highly value the collaboration between the two schools. The teachers at PPNS have acquired significant knowledge about working effectively with children who have autism. Another lovely part of the entire collaboration has been getting to know some of the PCDI families as all three team members – PCDI, PPNS, and parents – partner to give children with autism a meaningful and loving educational experience in a general preschool environment. I am hopeful that we will have the opportunity to work with PCDI again in the future. We are fortunate to have a school of this caliber in our local area!"

Hope Anderson, Director, Pennington Presbyterian Nursery School

"PCDI is a unique model of scientific and professional excellence. Through their dissemination efforts, other programs such as the Institute for Educational Achievement, have been more than adequately prepared to provide effective educational services to many more individuals and families challenged by autism. In addition, PCDI’s mentorship and well-constructed behavior analytic systems ensure optimal advancement for students and professionals so that they may all achieve their fullest potential."

Dawn B. Townsend, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Executive Director Emeritus, Institute for Educational Achievement

"We will always be grateful to PCDI for helping our daughter to become the young lady she is today. Her academic and social progress under your guidance was remarkable. Many thanks to your skilled and dedicated faculty and staff; they were always willing to go the extra yard for our daughter."

Michael & Clara Eatroff, parent of a former PCDI student

"Both Pranav and us would not be where we are today if it were not for PCDI. We are very fortunate and even more grateful that PCDI happened to us. We miss the home visits, all the great training we got, and the great people at PCDI."

Arthi Nagaraj & Shankar Iyer, parents of a former PCDI student

"PCDI has provided world-class treatment utilizing the principles and practices of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for decades. PCDI's clinical intervention, research, and dissemination initiatives have been instrumental in helping thousands of individuals with autism lead more independent and richer lives here in New Jersey and across the globe."

Suzanne Buchanan, Psy.D., BCBA-D, Executive Director, Autism New Jersey

"We are firm believers in early intervention and how it can dramatically impact a child’s future. As parents, we wanted to do what was best for Lincoln which is why we relocated from North Carolina to get him the best at PCDI. The attention to detail, caring attitude, and parent support PCDI gave our family was priceless. We will forever be grateful for PCDI’s support and for helping our son Lincoln. Our hope now is we can go back and advocate for programs similar to PCDI’s in our local community in North Carolina."

Kyle & Bobbie Robinson, parents of a former PCDI student

"For more than a decade, PCDI has provided our undergraduate students with opportunities to gain invaluable internship experiences. These experiences have shaped not only their educational decisions, but also their career decisions. The environment for PCDI interns has been a rigorous yet supportive one. I can’t say enough wonderful things about the relationship between PCDI and the Rider University Psychology Department. I look forward to continuing our partnership in the years to come."

Alison Thomas-Cottingham, Ph.D.

Undergraduate Internship Supervisor Department of Psychology, Rider University

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